Govt to abide by SC order on MGNRGA irregularities

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Monday said it will abide by the Supreme Court decision regarding alleged irregularities in the implementation of the rural job guarantee scheme in the state.

"We will accept a CBI probe or investigation by any agency if the Supreme Court wants it," said Panchayati Raj Minister Prafulla Samal.

Panchyati Raj department is the nodal agency for the implementation of the rural job scheme under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

Claiming that the state government had taken several steps to improve the situation regarding implementation of the job scheme, Samal said besides the apex court, the state government also seeks suggestions from the public.

"If Supreme Court is not satisfied with our steps so far taken to improve the situation, the state government will have no hesitation to a CBI probe into the matter," Samal told reporters replying a question on the apex court`s concern over the alleged misappropriation of funds under rural job scheme.

Noting that the state government had appointed ombudsmen, both in district level and the state level, for proper implementation of the scheme, the minister said initial mistakes were no more found anywhere in the state.

While expressing concern over the matter, the Supreme Court today indicated that it would step in if the Centre did not take any decision regarding a CBI probe.

The court said this while hearing a public interest lawsuit filed in 2007 by an NGO, Centre for Environment and Food Security, alleging large-scale corruption in the implementation of the programme for rural job under MGNREGA.

Reports of CAG as well as of National Institute of Rural Development show misappropriation of funds allegedly by officials and functionaries of the implementation agencies, resulting in diversion of funds, the court observed.